Participants at an engagement on violent extremism have resolved to sensitise members of their communities on the issue as part of sustained efforts to help prevent it from happening in the country.
They also resolved to be peace ambassadors in their communities and work at eliminating various factions in their areas to promote peaceful coexistence while being one another’s keeper.
This formed part of the commitments made by the participants during the engagement organised at Nanton in the Northern Region by the Nanton District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
Participants were drawn from various interest groups in the Nanton District including youth groups such as Nanton Youth, Zieng Youth, Peace Foundation Youth, Afa Bausu Youth, women groups, unit committee members, assembly members, religious leaders, persons with disabilities, Heads of Department amongst others.
The engagement formed part of the Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana project funded by the European Union to amongst others counter violent extremism in the country.
It was to equip participants especially the youth with the relevant information on violent extremism and radicalism so that they would guard against being recruited to perpetuate violence in the country.
Madam Kathleen Addy, Deputy Chairperson of NCCE in-charge of Finance and Administration, who spoke during the engagement, advised participants to do away with pockets of violence in their communities because “Extremist ideas can only fester when you are divided.”
Madam Addy urged them not to be part of the problem but rather the solution, and said even though disagreements were part of life, efforts must be made to resolve them, adding people should not take entrenched positions on issues that need other sides to resolve.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Twumasi Ankrah, Savelugu District Police Commander, explained violent extremism and radicalisation to the participants, urging them to take their personal safety seriously.
DSP Mr Ankrah also urged them to be on the look-out and report suspicious characters to the law enforcement officers to take action against them.
Afa Issah Alhassan Abubakari, Northern Regional Manager of the Islamic Education Unit, who spoke on peacebuilding mechanisms, called on religious leaders to always preach peace and unity to encourage all citizens to be one another’s keeper in the country.
Mr Ibrahim Iddrisu, Nanton District Director of NCCE emphasised the need for all citizens to live at peace with one another to promote development in their area.